The 5 Smartest Free Agent Contracts of the 2011 NFL Preseason

Matt CoanCorrespondent IIAugust 30, 2011

The 5 Smartest Free Agent Contracts of the 2011 NFL Preseason

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    The NFL free agency period is over and we are nearing the end of the preseason.

    The 2011 NFL regular season is getting closer and closer and we will soon find out which teams made great moves and which made mistakes this shortened offseason.

    This list will cover the five smartest, most savvy free-agent deals that were given out this offseason, and which teams made moves that will help them in the coming weeks.

Tennessee Titans Sign Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck

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    Easily one of the most underrated free agent signings of the year, the Tennessee Titans picking up quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was a smart move.

    Hasselbeck came to the Titans for presumably a very small amount of money, and while he won't be around much longer, he still has gas in his tank.

    The Titans now are able to hold off on starting rookie quarterback Jake Locker and allow him to learn the ways of the NFL quarterback behind a crafty, seasoned veteran.

    Hasselbeck may only be a stop-gap for the Titans, but he at least gives them a small chance at competing and not being the joke of the league this season.

    Locker will benefit from this move, the Titans will benefit from this move and even Matt Hasselbeck will benefit from this move. A smart signing overall.

Jacksonville Jaguars Sign Paul Pusluszny

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    The Jacksonville Jaguars made a significant upgrade to their defense this offseason by signing linebacker Paul Posluszny and upgrading at a bargain price.

    Posluszny landed a six-year, $42 million deal that moved him from Buffalo to Jacksonville.

    The Jaguars got the top middle linebacker in the 2011 free agent class and for a pretty decent rate.

    The top players at certain positions often get overpaid in free agency, especially when the position pool is weak, but the Jaguars didn't overpay and landed a high-quality middle linebacker to greatly improve their defense and the team overall.

Atlanta Falcons Re-Sign Tyson Clabo

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    The Atlanta Falcons re-signed Pro Bowl right tackle Tyson Clabo for an absolute bargain of a contract.

    Clabo will be paid $25 million over five years, and looks to be in the peak of his prime.

    Landing a very high-quality tackle for a little more than $5 million per year is a steal for the Falcons, and another reason why they will be competing for a Super Bowl title this year.

    Clabo plays a big part of the Falcons' highly potent offense, and his job (protecting Matt Ryan) is vital to the team's success.

    The Falcons have a very well-run, smart front office, and it's no wonder why they end up with great contracts like this one.

Houston Texans Sign Johnathan Joseph

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    The Houston Texans were searching desperately for secondary help this offseason, and picking up Johnathan Joseph will improve that aspect of their team as well as the team overall.

    Joseph signed a five-year, $48 million contract with the Texans, and while he will be paid a large amount of money, the Texans still got him at a good price.

    The Texans missed out on Nnamdi Asomugha, but Joseph was the next best thing. He allowed them to spread their money around the defense instead of having to use it all at just one position.

    Joseph will improve the Texans' weakest point and help them finally make the playoffs this season.

The New York Jets Re-Sign Santonio Holmes

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    The New York Jets re-signed their best receiver and best offensive player this offseason, and got him at a great price, too.

    Santonio Holmes wanted to return to New York, so he took a pay cut and signed with the Jets for five years and $50 million.

    Holmes is one of the league's top receivers and has won a Super Bowl MVP award, so getting him for about $10 million a year seems like a great price for the Jets.

    Quarterback Mark Sanchez is still young and on the path to developing into a good quarterback. Keeping a great wideout like Holmes around will help speed up that process.

    Holmes pairs very well with new Jet Plaxico Burress, and the combination of those two will be better than the duo of Holmes and Braylon Edwards from last season.

    The Jets have made a number of savvy moves the past few offseasons, and should be in Super Bowl contention for many years to come.